Alan Gross sentenced to 15 years by Castro court
The Castro dictatorship announced today that Alan Gross, the American aid worker being held hostage by the Cuban regime, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
U.S. contractor gets 15 years in Cuba trial
(Reuters) - U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Cuban court that found he had worked to undermine Cuba's communist government, Cuban state-run television reported on Saturday, in the latest blow to U.S.-Cuba relations.
The decision follows a two-day trial last week in which the Cuban government said prosecutors presented evidence that Gross, 61, was involved in a "subversive project" to "topple the revolution."
Prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence.
Gross was accused of distributing sophisticated satellite communications equipment for Internet access under a U.S. program that is outlawed and considered subversive by the Cuban government.
He was officially charged with "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state" and can appeal the decision to Cuba's highest court.
The harsh sentence handed down for Gross is no doubt a bold message sent to the Obama administration by the Cuban dictatorship to either pay up or suffer the consequences. In essence, it is no different than the messages sent by other criminal organizations who cut off a finger of a hostage and mail it to their family members. The Castro dictatorship does not fear the Obama administration, nor have they been given any reason to fear them. And while the U.S. government continues to wait for the Castro Mafia to "do the right thing" and refusing to deal with them from a position of strength, that Mafia will continue to challenge and embarrass the U.S. before the entire world.
In the meantime, Alan Gross and his family will continue to suffer the brutality of the Castro regime, ultimately paying the price for the weakness and ineptitude of the Obama White House and State Department.
H/T The Real Cuba